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Business Forum

News - 7 September 2007

Are businesses becoming greener?

The Environment Agency's Spotlight on Business report reveals that whilst air pollution from industry continues to fall and the courts have never been tougher on environmental crime, greenhouse gas emissions from industries regulated by the Environment Agency are still creeping up.

The Spotlight report indicates that businesses are becoming more energy efficient, but not fast enough to compensate for the increasing emissions associated with our growing economy and our addiction to coal.

Overall progress is slow in sites regulated by the Environment Agency.  Greenhouse gas releases are creeping up again, waste recovery is decreasing and more water is being used.  However, there is some good news: this increase is less than industry's economic growth suggesting that it is possible for the economy to continue to grow without an associated increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Industry is leading the way, but there is still a long way to go.  Reacting quickly now can save businesses money and reduce risk.

Measures to reduce Greenhouse gas releases, adapt to climate change and use resources more efficiently can:

  • Have the same effect on business profits as a five per cent increase in sales and 20 per cent reduction in energy use.
  • Yield energy efficiency opportunities worth £2.5 billion each year across the whole economy.
  • Save £3 billion in operating costs through waste minimisation and cut water bills by 30 per cent through water efficiency.
  • Reduce future regulatory risk for businesses operating across the whole of Europe.
  • Create new markets and drive innovation: – 1.96 billion Euro was invested in 300 clean energy companies between 2003 and 2006.  The UK climate change programme is expected to stimulate a market worth £30 billion over the next 10 years.
  • Get support from projects funded through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Business Resources Efficiency and Waste Programme (BREW), worth £100 million in 2006/07.

Businesses do not have to do this alone.  A number of organisations provide free support for businesses considering climate change measures. For further information click on the links below.


Read related items on:
Business Advice
Climate Change
Environment Agency

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